Advancements in West Alabama
Over the past 25 years, Printing Services at The University of West Alabama has not added a single employee. Yet, according to Director Jimmy Robinson, the workload has increased tenfold.
“So we have to get machines that are able to do things faster,” he says.
Recently, the four-employee in-plant did precisely this when it added three new printers to its Livingston, Ala., facility, as well as a wide-format laminator. What’s more, the shop is on the verge of launching its first MIS and Web-to-print system.
For improved digital color printing, UWA’s in-plant has replaced its Xerox 700 with a Xerox Color J75 Press. The 75-page-per-minute printer produces 2,400×2,400-dpi quality.
“It prints tabloid size at twice the speed as the 700,” remarks Robinson. “And that’s mostly what we do is the tabloid size.”
The shop uses the J75 to print direct mail pieces, booklets, brochures and covers for football programs, among other items.
At the same time, the in-plant replaced its Xerox 4127 with a new Xerox D125 featuring an inline GBC punch. With 2,400×2,400-dpi resolution printing, the D125 can print the high-quality black-and-white jobs that Robinson had previously been sending to the Xerox 700. This includes scores of 81⁄2×11˝, coil-bound booklets for bby Publications, a company acquired by the university.
“We do thousands of books for them,” says Robinson.
The new printers came with the EFI Fiery Command Workstation 5 management interface, which allows employees to run and monitor the printers from their desktops.
UWA Printing Services also recently upgraded its addressing equipment with a SECAP SA5000, which can print addresses at 22,000 pieces per hour on a range of media up to 1⁄4˝ in thickness.
“We got it for its speed,” Robinson reveals.
With the shop’s wide-format printing business booming, it also replaced its pouch laminator with a new 42˝ Xyron XM4400 cold laminator.
“If you do wide-format, you’ve got to be able to laminate wide-format,” explains Robinson.
The shop’s Epson 9890 has been very busy lately printing posters and other items, he says, and the laminator protects those prints for prolonged outdoor use.
“Once word got around that we can do wide-format, everybody’s coming at us,” he says. “It sold itself.”
Soon to be implemented at the in-plant is Print Shop Pro Lite, from edu Business Solutions. Robinson talked with other users of the MIS and went through an online demonstration. He was very impressed, and felt the software was geared toward smaller shops like his. The in-plant elected to add the LDAP module, which allows customers to log in using their UWA network credentials; the Color Themes module, which allows the shop’s website to be configured with UWA colors and fonts; and the Document Converter module, which converts common file types to PDF during the customer’s order process.
“It’s going to reduce our billing time from about six hours to five minutes,” Robinson observes.